U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Mark Begich (D-AK) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced legislation to provide veterans with additional opportunities to find employment and understand their VA benefits.
The TAP Modernization Act of 2012 would examine improvements to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) by offering TAP classes for veterans and their spouses at temporary off-base locations. In addition the legislation would require the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) to integrate job search experts to teach the classes.
"The TAP program is essential to veterans' success after they separate from service," Boozman said. "At the same time, once in civilian life many veterans wish they had attended TAP, or made it a greater priority during the process of separation. This program offers veterans and their spouses the opportunity to have this important experience should they happen to have missed out on TAP or need a refresher. It should never be too late for our veterans and their families to gain a better understanding of the transferability of their skills and the many programs available to help them succeed in civilian life."
"Our service members trying to rejoin the civilian workforce bring skills that are exactly what employers want and need. They have a high work ethic, incredible know-how, and a commitment to get the job done. We must be committed to doing everything possible to connect these workers to the valuable employment that they need and deserve after serving our country. This bill will improve the transition to civilian life and the job market by providing off-base TAP classes and bring in job search experts to teach these classes for veterans and their spouses," Begich said.
"We should do everything possible to honor the men and women who have served our country. This legislation not only honors our veterans, but also their families who sacrifice so much when they are overseas. I am proud to work with Senators Boozman and Begich to ensure our veterans and military families are helped with job training as they transition into civilian life," Rubio said.
This legislation has the support of numerous VSO's including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
"IAVA is proud to support this legislation to expand military Transition Assistance Programs. This bipartisan measure will improve the employment prospects of countless new vets, and it's a pivotal first step in the fight against high veteran unemployment," said IAVA Executive Director and Founder Paul Rieckhoff "We need to ensure they have access to the best professional guidance to succeed in the job market today and into the future. This bill will give them critical access to Transition Training as their careers and lives evolve."
Similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives.